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Welcome to the Spiritual Directors International monthly newsletter.
We have a special treat for you. It's an extended SDI Learns video - offering an extraordinary insight into St.Teresa of Ávila, one of Christianity's great mystics.
With our Seeking Connection 2018 conference drawing closer (early bird deadline is January 15), we wanted to give you a good chance to get to know one of our keynote speakers. Mirabai Starr is a respected scholar of what she calls the "divine feminine" and the translator of St.Teresa of Ávila's books. In this interview with SDI executive director, Anil Singh-Molares, Mirabai explores St. Teresa's views on contemplative practice, service, leading change as a woman, and helping all people find liberation. We invite you to watch the full 21 minutes. It's not just a chance to learn, it's a chance to celebrate a great woman mystic through one of her most eloquent contemporary interpreters.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH.. or click the image below.
Spiritual Directors International is committed to increasing accessibility to our conferences, and to all of SDI’s programs. The scholarships for Seeking Connection 2018 will range from partial funding to packages that may cover the registration fee, all conference plenary sessions, 4 workshops, one institute and 3 nights hotel accommodation.
Please note: most scholarships awarded will be partial.
If you are interested, please fill out the online application. We want you to tell us not only how attending the conference will benefit you and your spiritual career/journey, but what specific project it will support. We want to hear how you can turn this opportunity into service on what we call the Public Square of Spiritual Direction.
NEW ENNEAGRAM OPPORTUNITIES
New "Enneagram of Personality" 1-day intensive course at 2018 SDI Conference - Led by a team of experienced Enneagram teachers, the interactive session is designed for spiritual directors but open to anyone on a spiritual path. We’ll focus on this ancient wisdom system, which has deep roots and is not bound to any particular spiritual manifestation. In fact, it's open to anyone. Richard Rohr, one of the keynotes for the SDI Conference calls it a "powerful tool for self-discovery and spiritual transformation." He adds, " People who know the Enneagram in a superficial way think it’s about putting people into boxes, but it actually works to free people from their self-created boxes." SDI is gathering a team of Enneagram thought leaders to present this session.
CORRECTION - Please be advised that SDI’s Enneagram of Personality Workshop scheduled for April 26, 2018 is not sponsored by or affiliated with The Enneagram Institute®. We regret any confusion that may have resulted from our prior advertising of this program.
“Spiritual directors have a special role to play by establishing a safe space for you, listening deeply and intently, spiritually, and letting your authentic self shine through. Ideally, we are mirrors that allow you to see yourself more clearly. We strive very hard not to impose our own vision, so as not to distort the image. All of this is meant to allow you to see what is already inside you. You are your own best teacher.”
-- Anil Singh-Molares, SDI Executive Director
Listen is our newsletter written for all spiritual seekers.
Read it now.
NEW EDITION OF "CONNECTIONS" - What is the heart-opening question that spiritual companions can ask of almost anyone they work with? Find out in this publication written by and for spiritual directors. Also, read what SDI's executive director Anil Singh-Molares learned on his 11-day visit to Australia.
Check it out here.
FOOD FOR DISCERNMENT
HOW LISTENING CAN BUILD COMMUNITY - This blog from spiritual director and author Elizabeth Kelly takes inspiration from an indigenous approach in Alaska. Wonderful read.
RICHARD ROHR & ST. IGNATIUS ... Try this non-judgmental review and mindful awareness, inspired by one of the most famous spiritual directors ever and described by one of the best communicators of the contemplative tradition in modern times.
ASPIRATION & COMPASSION
WHAT IS THE ROLE OF ASPIRATION IN A SPIRITUAL LIFE? -- Why not listen to the American Buddhist nun and author Pema Chodron, who wrote this: "Bernard Glassman Roshi worked with the homeless in Yonkers, New York. He said that he knew there was no way to end homelessness, yet he would devote his life to trying. This is the aspiration of a bodhisattva...."
DO YOU SPEAK STILLNESS?
As many of you know, Father Thomas Keating is known as one of the key architects of a Christian contemplative practice called "centering prayer." As you might guess, silence is a key element of the practice.... Here is the next line to the quote below: "Silence is God's first language; everything else is a poor translation. In order to hear that language, we must learn to be still and rest in God."
THE QUEST IN QUESTIONS
A spiritual companion encourages the people she serves to "discover and embrace their own questions." This wisdom comes from Margaret Guenther's book "Holy Listening" CLICK HERE TO READ MORE.
AND SPEAKING OF QUESTIONS ...
What role does music play in your spiritual practice or in your work as a spiritual companion?
What pieces of music do you find particularly helpful?
You are what makes SDI a welcoming and nurturing community. We want to hear from you. Before December 31, please follow the link below to give us your answers. If you wish, your answers will be considered for inclusion in a future edition of "Listen," our newsletter for seekers.
WELCOME TO THE FUTURE
NEW CONTEMPLATIVES 2018 - DEADLINE EXTENDED TO JAN. 20
New Contemplatives will receive a full scholarship plus hotel and a travel stipend for the Spiritual Directors International "Seeking Connection" conference in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, April 26-29, 2018. SDI seeks candidates that reflect human diversity on our planet. We also want to encourage people we see as future leaders in spiritual direction, people inspired to help us grow our global movement....
The application isn't long. Why not try?
LET SPIRIT BE YOUR GUIDE
With respect and appreciation,
P.S. If you enjoyed this newsletter, please share the link with a friend or friends. That simple act will do a tremendous amount to support the cause of spiritual companionship. Remember.... sometimes wonderful journeys start with the simple step of sharing what authentically resonates with us. Authentic connections are often born of such respectful boldness.
P.S. I took this photo with my phone in September. The Gateway Arch in St. Louis is truly inspiring – joining earth and sky - simultaneously grand and full of humility. Few monuments do so much with space. And space (inside and out) is something sacred to me. …. Despite recent troubles, I found the people of St. Louis to be warm and welcoming. Many of them possessed a robust sense of humor and irony. In my bones, I feel this will be a memorable conference for all the SDI community. Please consider attending if you can. Meet you in St. Louis! -- Steven
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